Three days ago someone sent a “please call me thank you” message to my friend’s number. My friend called back but the call wasn’t picked up, several times. He asked me to help him find out who the “flasher” is. I called and talked to her, a talk that gave me a new name, a name I wouldn’t like to make public. My friend wasn’t satisfied, he really wanted to know who the **** sent the please call me message yet could not have the guts to pick his call. We brain stormed, then remembered there is Google. We Googled “How to know unknown caller” and we got a number of tips – some which involved using a web search or use of some apps. Part of the solution was the use of Truecaller App.
I downloaded the Truecaller on my Android device and input the number of the flasher. Truecaller was true to its duty and returned a name for the number, but sadly the name was only one name, which wasn’t helpful.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Some strange number could be calling you and for some strange reason, you don’t want to pick that number up. “Maybe it is my ex using a friend’s number” – you reason. Or your landlord that you have been avoiding has decided to use a different phone.
Reasons for desiring to know the owner of the strange number are also positive. You obtained the number of that beautiful girl you haven’t had guts to talk to. You want to call her but you can’t. You wish you knew her name first. Or a friend that you forgot to save his/her number calls, you receive the call, only to be embarrassed after asking, “who is calling?” Last scenario – she gave you her number but lied about her name.
Other than being able to obtain the names behind the unknown numbers, you can also be lucky to see the photos behind some of those numbers you could have fraudulently obtained. Let’s finalize with the names first – then the photos.
As mentioned above, there are several ways of obtaining the names behind the unknown numbers in your call log, but Truecaller works best for me. According to the description posted on Wikipedia,
Truecaller is a the world’s largest mobile phone community for mobiles, and accessible via a Web site, developed by True Software Scandinavia AB. It finds contact details globally given name or telephone number, and has an integrated caller ID service to achieve call-blocking functionality and social media integration to keep the phonebook up-to-date with pictures and birthdays. The name Truecaller comes from the app being able to show the True name of the Caller. The client is available for Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Series 40, Symbian s60, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.
Using Truecaller is very simple, you only need to download it from your OS’s market place and follow instructions after installing. On the top right corner of the App, there are two tiny icons. The first one is the History icon that indicates the numbers and names of all calls made – including messages sent. When making a call, Truecaller will automatically search for the name of the person being called in case the number is not yet saved in the address book. You can also search for the names manually by entering a number at the search bar – only be sure to include the correct country code below the search bar.
Is there any reason you wouldn’t want to use Truecaller?
After we found out the name of the flasher, my friend was pleased but commented “we are not private anymore”. I disagree, if someone already has your number, what harm is there in obtaining your name? In Kenya, even without Truecaller, one only needs to send a 10 bob M-PESA (the likelihood that the number will be a Safaricom’s number is over 80%) and viola, you have his/her names as they appear on the National Identification document. Truecaller is actually lenient. Instead of obtaining names from government registries, it does obtain names from social media and other online sources that it has integrated with. This I verified after searching for my mum’s name on Truecaller but the result was “No match found”. The search result must be because my mum has zero details online.
I think privacy issues will be of concern if and when services like Truecaller incorporate what my friend wishes for – the ability to search for numbers by typing in names in the search bar. That would mean, if you know my name, you have my number.
Photos of number owners
I’m basically through with this article but I promised to show you how to see the photos of some people you accidentally have their numbers – for whatever reason. Just add the number to your phone book, give it a name e.g. from Truecaller, go to WhatsApp, update contacts, and if you have the new contact in the contact list, check on his/her photo. If not yet, just be patient – an active user will update his/her profile with a photo of his/her face in not so distant future.
If the number owner is not on WhatsApp, he/she is most probably on Facebook. Be sure you have the Facebook App on your phone. Go to Find Friends from the Facebook App, Press “Contacts” then Find Friends – He/she would be one of those many suggested friends from your phone contacts.
All the best with stalking!